When you look at your electric bill, your eyes probably go straight to the bottom line — the total cost for the month.
Getting the Most Out of Your General Service Rate
As you know, your total bill is a compilation of factors including, the amount of energy used, fluctuating costs of energy, your electrical demand and your hours of operation. More than 98 percent of Jackson EMC's business customers are billed under the General Service (GS) rate plan.
Peak Demand Energy
Your highest energy bills are probably during the summer. The summer is Georgia's peak demand season, and Jackson EMC has to keep power flowing to your business even when the system is at its busiest. Peak demand energy costs more because it costs electric utilities more money to supply electricity during these times. There are ways, however, to decrease your summer energy bills.
By spreading your electric usage over a longer period of time, you can decrease your energy demand. Decreasing your demand decreases the rate you're changed per kilowatt hour (kWh). For example, if you have a 100-watt light bulb that burns 10 hours each day and you have a 1,000-watt bulb that burns for one hour a day, you will use the same amount of energy, one kWh, but you will pay more per kWh for using the 1,000-watt bulb for the shorter period of time. By using the 100-watt bulb over a 10-hour period, you increase your load factor, which in turn, decreases your rate per kWh.
Your load factor is the relationship between the demand you set and how many hours you use that demand. The more hours you use your set demand, the higher your load factor is. The higher your load factor, the lower your cost per kWh will be.
You can also save during the summer by carefully choosing the time of day to operate certain pieces of equipment. The following are a few examples to give you ideas on how this can work for your business.
Let's say you distribute refrigerated widgets. The truck may come to pick up your refrigerated widgets at 3 p.m. — a very hot time of day during the summer. While you're loading your widgets into the truck, you have your refrigerated warehouse open. Because it's so warm, your refrigeration units kick into overdrive to maintain the temperature of the warehouse. A way to combat this is to have your truck come early in the morning or late in the evening when it's cooler. You can save because your refrigeration units won't have to work as hard during peak hours — reducing peak demand and improving load factor.
Some warehouses use electric forklifts. Rather than charging them during peak demand time, you can charge them overnight, when peak demand is lower. Look for equipment that doesn't have to operate at the same time, thus decreasing your electrical usage during given periods of time.
If you have the option to shut off large pieces of equipment during given periods of time, you may want to consider the load management rate. If you would like more information on the different rates and what may work best for you and your business, please contact a representative in your service area.
Find out how to make Jackson EMC's load management rate work for you.